Why do water rates seem less expensive in other locations?

Water rates vary considerably throughout Western Washington.

Monthly costs for a family that uses 1000 cubic feet of water can range from $10 to $50. In general, the larger the system the cheaper it can supply water. Other factors such as the cost of the source of water, cost associated with paying for or upgrading water system facilities, water treatment costs, etc., cause variations in water rates. A water system may keep rates down by not conducting maintenance, not upgrading systems to make them more reliable, or not setting aside funds to replace outdated or aging facilities. That would put such a system in a "pay me now or pay me later" situation. A system that has a large number of industrial or commercial customers can usually charge their residential customers lower rates. Some municipalities use other sources of money to subsidize water rates while others divert money from water rates to other needs.

Many of the systems taken over by Kitsap Public Utility District (KPUD) were in very poor condition. High maintenance and repair expenses increase costs. Most KPUD systems are small and some distance apart; factors which also increase costs of operation and water rates.